Lululemon TXS: LLL just introduced a line up of athletic gear thematically marketed around the Vancouver/Whistler 2010 Olympics. They are not official sponsors, but they delicately hugged the global event by calling their line up:
"Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 & 2011 Edition" (read CBC article here)
Brilliant move. Until this announcement, they were pushed into a corner by other offical and un-official partners. Bucking the Vanoc trend is certainly in fashion, and not just with clothing retailers. Unoffical banks, thrwarted tel-cos and the like have been try to get in on the Olympic movement.
I have been trying, without much luck, to get our ad agency to do a "you've been Van-oc'd spoof". The regulations around branding and badging have been so tight that its making it hard for marketers to play with the games in any capacity. The Hudson's Bay Company has the exclusive rights. And some how Aritzia got their fingers in the pie too... Chip must have been pissed about that. No Namaste for the wicked (I have heard rumours of gentleman's quarrel between Brian Hill and Chip Wilson for years).
Good for Lulu for coming out with a tongue and cheek approach. Roots did a similar one with their alignment with Right to Play and Mastercard a few weeks back. Root had the rights to the Olympics up until Beijing and then lost it for Canada, kept if for the US Olympic team and just lost the US business to Ralph Lauren.
This certainly won't be the last of the Vanoc bucking trend. But I must say, I do love a little competition.... but question to be answered is whether this is fair play or poor sportsman ship?
Clicker here for their Flickr pics of the merchandise